We have made it into VIETNAM!!! Many said it could not be done on a Harley (being technically illegal in Vietnam).... We came in from Na Meo border crossing and spent the 1st night in Mai Chau. Tonight, we are in Hanoi. I would add in some photos, but I do not know how to upload them to the forum. David?????? Nikki and I stayed the night in Xam Neua (Laos) as the accommodation in Viang Xay (30Kms closer to the border) was a true dump. There is no "accommodation" in Nam Soi (Laos side of the border). The one guesthouse in Viang Xai was not at all attractive, but nice if you like cockroaches. So the trip to the Nam Soi / Na Meo border from Xam Neua (Samnuea) was about 85 Kms, done early in the morning. The road is fairly uneven and passes through a lot of villages, so an average of 45Kms/hr only possible. There is a LOT of livestock on the road, which makes the going very slow. It took 2 hours to do the 85 Kms, with a pee stop along the way. Oh, by the way, village toilets suck! About 30 minutes to check out of Laos, with the Carnet stamped and ready to go. No trouble at all!! The immigration official said that if we had any trouble, that we could come back and un-cancel our cancelled visas. With this get-out-of-jail-card, we headed across the concrete bridge to the Vietnam checkpoint about 200 metres away. Our official tour guide from Voyage Vietnam was there waiting for us, having arrived in Na Meo the day before. He had already spent 2 hours at the border the day before, showing paperwork and letters of authority from the Vietnamese Prime Minister's office in preparation for our arrival the next morning. He had clued up the customs guys as to what to do, and what to look for, showing copies of our carnet, and instructions from "head office". When we arrived, the border staff were ready and waiting for us. Smiles all around!!! We first met our guide, Tuyen, a lovely chap who speaks excellent English. Tuyen took our Carnet for processing with customs, leaving us to do other formalities. Tuyen, our guide, was carrying a stack of documentation relating to our bike, and a copy of the letters from the Prime Minister's office allowing to conduct a tour and to allow entry for our bike. In the meantime, Nikki and I went to Immigration to have our Visas validated and stamped for entry into Vietnam. Next, we had a "health check", which merely involved taking our temperature and getting us to fill in a declaration form. After a "welcome to Vietnam" from immigration staff, we joined our "guide / fixer" in customs. The customs officers were taking there time, reading the "special documentation" as to what to do with the Carnet, being very careful not to make a mistake. They were relying upon our "man in charge" as to translation of the Carnet itself. They were also taking a lot of care to fill in an official blue-coloured "Entry Permit" for the bike, which also validated my International Driving Licence, naming the bike, the VIN, Registration, my passport number and name in detail. The document is in English and Vietnamese, carbon copied in duplicate. The Carnet was stamped, signed, then the blue document was stamped, signed and attached to the Carnet. Of course, they also attached an official receipt for 10,000 Dong, which I had to pay (about US$0.55 - yes, 55 cents) . With documents in hand, we were permitted to take a few photos of the border crossing, including the customs and immigration area/officials, and went to the bike. Final thing was to inspect our luggage using an X-Ray. Our "fixer" indicated to take the bag off the top of the Top-Box/Tour pack and leave the others in the bike. A scan by the X-Ray and a quick look inside, the officers smiled and said we were OK to go. Seemingly, a formality, at least in our case. Next we went back to the bike, loaded up the inspected bag, started our Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic, and roared up to the front gate. The immigration officials all smiled and cheered as the engine bust into life. We joined by our Guide (riding a Honda Dream 100), who told us to stop before the gates and follow his lead. Out of "respect / courtesy", we had to push the bike past the gate, about 7 feet. Why? I do not know, but if we did not, it would involve a fine. After the gate, we got back on and rode into Na Meo town for a cool drink and some fuel. Voila!!! We are in Vietnam!!! The drive to Mai Chau from the border was fraught with a few mud piles and some rough patches. It took another 4.5 hours to travel the 170 Kms. We arrived at our "hotel" at about 4pm, and was truly tired, having left at 6;30am from Xam Nuea (Laos). Today, we rode down a better highway to Hanoi via some stunning scenery. The drive into Hanoi was a terrifying experience. This place makes Jakarta look like a walk in the park! Oh the traffic and chaos!!! Boy, am I glad we got our horn fixed in Chiang Mai!! We NEEDED IT. In any case, when they ignore the horn, I just pull in the clutch and rev the motor a bit. The roaring sound that our bike makes certainly gets their attention and they keenly move aside, expecting a truck. The look on their faces in the rear-view mirror, when they realise it is a motorbike is fantastic. One of the funniest thing happened when we passed Hoa Binh. We drove close to a Vietnamese lady-midget, who was walking near the edge of the road. As we approached, she pointed at us, jumped up and down yelling "Harley! Harley! Harley". Obviously a motorbike fan. It looked just like a scene out of fantasy Island - "Boss, The Plane! The Plane!" Nikki and I roared with laughter as we drove slowly past, each making the silly TV association in our minds without having to say much at all. Nikki took video of us riding into Hanoi, trying to capture the chaos and constant litany of near misses.Seeing the whites-of-their-eyes in on-coming traffic is not my idea of something to do too often. Of course, it was raining, albeit gently. Still, we made it and have learned some pretty neat local traffic-dodging techniques in the meantime. Hino is not a word you want to see coming at you in the opposite direction, too often. We are only in Hanoi for another day, so once we ride out of town, the risk reduces significantly. Our scooter-guide (Tuyen) rides ahead and shows us the way with quite a good degree of skill, honking his horn almost constantly to warn local villagers of the monster following behind. The looks, screams and waves we get from the locals is truly breathtaking. If we stop anywhere, we instantly gather a crowd of on-lookers that stand around, point and prod at our "humungous machine". The biggest street-legal motorcycle in Vietnam is 175cc, most being 100cc or 125cc. Our 1,520cc monster is quite a sight for them! Tonight we had a great dinner at a local French-Vietnamese restaurant. ne of Nikki's former colleagues from school, Di Fisk, walked into the same restaurant, taking a holiday here. It is such a small world! What tomorrow will bring, we can only guess. One thing will be for certain, it shall not be dull.